The Obama Administration swings into action against the termagant of Tripoli, as reported by CNN:
“The United States is suggesting that the United Nations should do more than just impose a no-fly zone on Libya as Moammar Qaddafi’s forces fight their way east toward the rebel capital of Benghazi.
“Airstrikes against Quaddafi’s forces are among options being discussed as diplomats try to hammer out a U.N. Security Council resolution, a diplomatic source said.
“The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. raised the possibility of going beyond a no-fly zone, Wednesday.”
Tremble in fear, Qaddafi! Soon you will have slaughtered your last thousand Libyans!
Sources inside the U.S. military say the White House has been presented with several options for assisting the Libyan revolution. One plan involves using radioactive materials from Japan to resurrect the slain rebels as mutant flesh-eating zombies. Another proposal would order an American aircraft carrier to wander through the Mediterranean in search of a freaky supernatural lighting storm that would send it back in time. The President’s preferred strategy is to flatten Tripoli by dropping billions of taxpayer dollars on it.
Middle Eastern diplomacy is a complex affair. I wouldn’t claim to have all the answers, but I’m pretty sure the worst possible thing to do is make hollow demands for a dictator to leave power, dither helplessly while he beats the snot out of his opposition, and finish with loud declarations about all the options we still have on the table, even as he’s preparing to obliterate the last rebel city.
Qaddafi is feeling his oats, promising the people holed up in Benghazi that “we are coming tonight” and “there won’t be any mercy.” His spokesmen also say that “all military and civilian air and sea vessels in the Mediterranean Sea will become targets of Libyan retaliation” if foreign powers intervene to stop the slaughter. His threats carry a lot more weight than those of the United States or United Nations at this point.
There is one way we could still conduct a meaningful intervention. It would require one well-aimed cruise missile, and a willingness to accept the collateral damage of anyone standing within a certain distance of Moammar Qaddafi. He’s got it coming, and not just in a Clint Eastwood “we’ve all got it coming, kid” way. The sentence for what he did to Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland should be death.
Barack Obama’s got another tee time coming up, so it’s unlikely he’ll pass that sentence. He’ll settle for a final round of empty bluster, meaningless resolutions, and quiet humiliation instead. Consequently, it will be a long time before the voice of America is heeded more carefully in the Middle East than the voice of Moammar Qaddafi.